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Challenges in performing technical safety reviews of modifications: A case study
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
Nord Safety Management Inst, Stockholm, Sweden.
2012 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 50, no 7, 1558-1568 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present study, is to identify strengths and weaknesses of the technical safety review process at a Swedish Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). In this context, the function of safety reviews are understood as expert judgements on proposals for design modifications. 1" Design modifications" are here understood as alterations of an existing design. 1 and redesign of technical systems (i.e. commercial nuclear reactors), supported by formalised safety review processes. The chosen methodology is using two complementary methods: interviews of personnel performing safety reviews, and analysis of safety review reports from 2005 to 2009.The study shows that personal integrity is a trademark of the review staff and there are sufficient support systems to ensure high quality. The partition between primary and independent review is positive, having different focus and staff with different skills and perspectives making the reviews, which implies supplementary roles. The process contributes to " getting the right things done the right way" . The study also shows that though efficient communication, feedback, processes for continuous improvement, and " learning organizations" are well known success factors in academia, it is not that simple to implement and accomplish in real life.It is argued that future applications of safety review processes should focus more on communicating and clarifying the process and its adherent requirements, and improve the feedback system within the process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 50, no 7, 1558-1568 p.
Keyword [en]
Nuclear, Process, Safety, Safety review
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-95729DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2012.03.009ISI: 000305265500015Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84860844773OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-95729DiVA: diva2:529048
Note

QC 20120529

Available from: 2012-05-29 Created: 2012-05-29 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Safety Reviews of Technical System Modifications in the Nuclear Industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Safety Reviews of Technical System Modifications in the Nuclear Industry
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The function of safety reviews (here understood as expert judgements on proposals for design modifications and redesign of technical systems in commercial Nuclear Power Plants, supported by formalised safety review processes) plays a fundamental role for safety in nuclear installations. The primary aims of the presented case studies includes: critically examining and identifying the main areas for improvement of the existing technical safety review process as it is conducted at a Swedish nuclear power plant, developing a new process, and evaluating whether any improvements were accomplished. By using qualitative methods, observation/participation and interviews, data has been gathered on how the safety review process is perceived and conducted by experts involved in the safety review process, and ways to improve this process have been developed. This area is neglected in the larger safety literature. The novel approach here is to gather data directly from those involved in the safety review process, analysis of safety review reports as well as from inspection reports by the regulatory authority.

The study presented in paper I shows that the partition between primary and independent review is positive, having supplementary roles with different focus and staff with different skills and perspectives making the reviews. The study identifies a number of areas for improvement, such as: - a tendency to put too much resource on minor assignments - a clearer prioritization would improve focus on the most critical projects - there is a need for improved guidance and direction for how to structure the work It is argued that future applications of safety review processes should focus more on communicating and clarifying the process and its adherent requirements, and improve the feedback system within the process. It is also recommended that the NPPs create introductory training for new reviewers

The study presented in paper II concluded that grading of the primary safety review reports facilitates improved experience feedback by providing easier access to good examples for reviewers. Improvements identified by implementing the revised process are primarily linked to the independent safety review function, including better planning and means for resource allocation as well as clearer and more unambiguous supporting instructions. Introduction of formalized independent review meetings provides increased exchange of knowledge and strengthened the independent safety review function in the organization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. 52 p.
Series
Theses in Risk and Safety from the Division of Philosophy at the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1654-627X
Keyword
safety, safety review, nuclear, nuclear power plant, process, process improvement, action research, experience feedback
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-118843 (URN)978-91-7501-665-8 (ISBN)
Presentation
2013-03-19, 231, Teknikringen 78 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20130305

Available from: 2013-03-05 Created: 2013-03-01 Last updated: 2013-03-06Bibliographically approved

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